Cue Abbey Lincoln (August 6, 1930–August 14, 2010) to be the lead vocalist. Few others have created music that so completely mirrors the freedom struggle and the iconic truism that Black is, indeed, beautiful.
Her performances approach seances. She captures your spirit and catapults you to a higher plane of existence. Abbey uplifts you and inspires you to believe that you can not only uplift yourself, but you can also uplift others–those whom you love, all the members, known and unknown, of your community.
There is something in her that is in all of us–yet most of us don’t know our own greatness. She does. She sings and helps us all to recognize that there is magic in any being that can triumph over oppression.
I’ve been blessed to experience her live. She is more than a performer. She is a magician. Abbey credits what she does to the power of the music, even when she is singing in a language we may not understand.
Over her long career she has enthralled, enlightened, and elevated us–all of us who were witness to the extraordinary power of her vocal work.